Part 4—At long last, Maddow confesses: Why did Rachel mug and clown her way through the Trump/Clinton campaign?
Why did she duck every serious issue? Why did she use her time to entertain us, helping us learn to adore her more fully?
Last night, the multimillionaire corporate star finally spilled concerning her own past indolence. She made her confession roughly ten minutes into her TV show as she read from a 1996 police report, and from divorce records, concerning domestic violence charges brought against Steve Bannon.
Maddow spent the first nine minutes reading from those records, which became public last August. Then, she made her confession:
MADDOW (2/15/17): The Trump campaign actually never commented as to whether or not they were aware of this stuff in Steve Bannon's past when he was brought on to run the campaign.To watch the whole segment, click here. The confession starts around the 9:20 mark.
And you know, eventually that story just faded out of the news.
To be fair, there was a lot going on at the time. And honestly, I think part of the reason that story went away, after it was first reported in August, is because in, you know, late August, early September, nobody really believed Donald Trump could conceivably win the presidency. Right?
So whatever kind of characters he was bringing on to rescue his sinking ship of a campaign, I think everybody assumed they would all be out of the news sooner or later. Why bother going into too much depth?
But then they won. And Steve Bannon leapt from the campaign to the White House.
Last evening, Maddow spent her first nine minutes reading from the police report which became public last August. After that, she explained why "eventually, that story just faded out of the news."
You might have thought she was explaining why other news orgs let the story go. Just for the record, it might be worth recording the amount of attention the story received on her show.
Last night, Maddow spent the first ten minutes reading from the 1996 police report about Bannon. Back in August, she herself barely discussed this matter at all.
On August 26, she offered a perfunctory, two-minute overview of the facts which had just surfaced that day. After that, on Maddow's show, the story instantly "faded away." To all intents and purposes, she never mentioned it again.
Should Maddow have mentioned this topic more often during the campaign? Not necessarily, no. For today, we're most interested in the reason she gave for the way the story "eventually faded away."
This is what she said:
"And honestly, I think part of the reason that story went away...is because in, you know, late August, early September, nobody really believed Donald Trump could conceivably win the presidency. Right?"
We're glad to see that the cable star was being honest this time. But nobody believed that Trump could win?
We're sorry, but that isn't right. We're sorry, but that's just wrong.
Most likely, it's true! World-class flyweights—people like Maddow—may have believed there was no way Trump could possibly win. After all, our biggest stars were filling our heads with that enjoyable pap.
As late as the Friday before the election, Professor Wang was telling us, on Lawrence's show, that only a major weather event could conceivably give Trump a chance to win! True-believing bloggers had spooned this porridge on a weekly basis, endearing themselves to the liberal readers who were thus misled.
Last night, to her credit, Maddow at last confessed! Apparently, she too had been among the group who assumed there was no way Trump could win. Is that why she clowned for seventeen months during this White House election?
Next week, we'll offer a slightly more detailed review of the remarkable ways Maddow avoided the major issues which defined this election. But on November 8, Donald J. Trump pulled an inside straight and won.
Given the manifest craziness of the winner, it was one of the most embarrassing losses a political party, movement or group has ever arranged to sustain. Last night, Rachel confessed the reasons for her role in this dangerous debacle.
Will we liberals now stage an "autopsy" of last year's election? Will we examine the varying roles our cluelessness played in this embarrassing gong-show?
Not real freaking likely! As you know, we prefer to blame the debacle on Them, Those People, the ones Over There. It rarely enters our extremely thick heads that we had been paving the road to defeat for at least twenty-five years.
In Rachel Maddow's clowning clown world, we savants were shocked, just shocked, by the fact that Trump pulled that inside straight and won. In fact, it had always been possible that he could win. But, as Rachel admitted last night, corporate stars were too dumb to know that. This explains why they gamboled and played.
On November 9, we were shocked, just shocked. This Sunday, in the Washington Post, Dana Milbank described the troubled state in which some of us have found ourselves in the wake of our latest disaster:
MILBANK (2/12/17): I’ve heard it scores of times from Americans frightened, angry or depressed about President Trump: “What can I do?”We'll be honest—we didn't know what Everclear was, and Milbank mentioned it three times. For a full report from the leading authority, you can just click here.
I recommend to each of them the same regimen I follow myself: Exercise regularly, spend time with family and drink a quart of Everclear every night.
But such self-care, as the mental-health practitioners call it, only goes so far. For much of America—the majority of the country that did not vote for Donald Trump—the election has brought about what’s known as a “collective trauma,” not unlike the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Then, we stockpiled duct tape, packed go bags and hatched family escape plans—giving us an illusory sense of control over the unimaginable (and, in retrospect, overblown) threats of chemical, biological and radioactive attacks. Now a majority of those on the left, as well as many moderates and conservatives, fear not some unknown terrorist cell but our own president, wary of the calamity he could unleash with his recklessness. One moment he’s attacking the federal judiciary; the next moment he’s assaulting Australia—or Nordstrom.
The erratic behavior makes millions of people feel powerless and out of control, which leads to anxiety, anger and despair.
We do think people have every right to feel depressed and fearful about our new President Trump. We also know who failed those people during the 25-year nap in the woods which largely explains how we got here.
Rank-and-file liberals have been badly served by their overpaid, self-dealing leadership groups. They've been badly served by cable stars who mug and clown to help us adore them. They've been badly served by other major groups too.
Next week, we'll call the roll of some of those groups. Tomorrow, we'll take a look at why we do need leaders.
As he continued, Milbank told his readers what they could do to battle their fear and depression, and to battle Trump. Some of his suggestions were strange. We've seen others which are worse.
The rank and file will always need guidance from leaders who offer good, sound advice. Tomorrow, we'll show you how true that truism is.
We'll show you several ideas which have emerged concerning the way we can battle Trump. We've started our fight exactly too late. Plus, our ideas are no good!
Tomorrow: Join a book club, Milbank says. Or possibly join the Elks!